African leaders asked to double efforts to addressing unconstitutional changes of government 

Ambassador Emilia Ndinelao Mkusa, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council for the month of March, 2024, has expressed grave concern over the resurgence of military takeovers in Africa and urged African leaders to intensify efforts at addressing the root causes of the coups d’etat.

The AU has always expressed abhorrence towards military takeovers and insisted on “zero tolerance” for violent resurgence, she stated. 

Article five of the AU Charter promotes democratic principles, good governance, free, fair and transparent elections, and women and youth empowerment. 

She, thus, urged African leaders to strictly adhere to the tenets of democracy and respect the concerns of the citizens. 

Ambassador Mkusa, also the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Namibia to the AU, made the call during the opening of the Second Accra Reflection Forum on Monday. 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo officially opened the two-day forum on the theme: “Robust Responses, Deepening Democracy, Sustainable Security”. 

She made a clarion call on African leaders to sharpen the governance structures at the national level to empower the citizens economically and create employment opportunities for the youth. 

She was of the belief that if manipulation of elections and unconstitutional extension of presidential term limit persisted, Africa would continue to face democratic challenges. 

Therefore, she entreated the participants to be frank with issues concerning the root causes of military resurgence in Africa and take decisive actions to address them. 

Africa has witnessed six military takeovers since 2022, with several abortive coups. 

The AU has since suspended the military juntas of those countries from its activities and imposed various sanctions on them. 

The Accra Forum II underscores the Union’s commitment to upholding democratic principles and ensuring sustainable security in Africa.  

Ms Damilien Larbi Tchintchibidja, the Vice Chairperson of ECOWAS Commission, noted that the lack of inclusivity in key decision-making was leading to the resurgence of military takeovers in Africa. 

She urged African leaders to respect democratic principles and give free hand to the judiciary and legislative arms of government to work effectively. 

Topics lined up for discussion include an Overview of the state of Democracy and Political Governance in Africa, Stocktaking and Accelerating the Implementation of Accra and Malabo Declarations, and Structural Drivers and Root Causes of Unconstitutional Changes of Government: Impact and Retrospection and Sustainable Strategies, Tools and Solutions to Safeguard Democracy in Africa. 

In attendance were government officials, policy-makers, civil society organisations, and development partners, who would engage in frank discussions and exchange of ideas in advancing democratic governance and enhancing the rule of law in Africa. 

The Second Reflection Forum in Accra stands as a testament to the AU’s dedication to promoting peace, security, and good governance across the continent. 

Source: GNA 

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